Engine: 106.7 cu. in. (1.7L)
4 cylinder, air cooled
Output: 40 HP
Transmission: 4-speed Manual
Wheelbase: 102 in.
Overall Length:  186 in.
Weight: Unknown
Top Speed: 78 MPH
No. Produced: 508
Original Price: Unknown
Manufacturer: Zavody Ringhoffer Czechoslovakia


The Tatra line of streamlined cars debuted on March 5, 1934 with the debut of the T-77, followed by the T-77a and the T-87. Introduced in 1936, the Tatra T-97 concept has possible roots in sketches of Hungarian engineer Béla Barényi. The design was finalized by Erich Ledwinka, one of the sons of Hans Ledwinka, who is credited with the design of Tatra’s “T cars.”

The T-97 was smaller and more economical than its predecessor the T-87. And although Tatra was the only Central European car permitted by the Nazis to produce civilian cars during the war, the T-97 soon became a casualty. It apparently looked too much like the KdF-Wagen or the new German “people’s car.” Tatra sued Ferdinand Porsche for using its design for the VW Beatle. In 1985 Tatra was awarded a one million Deutschmark settlement, a pittance compared to the profits VW made on the design.



  • The T97 was a cheaper alternative to the T77A and the T87 because it lacked some of the amenities of the more expensive models.
  • The T-97 and its predecessor the T-87 are almost identical. The T-97 lacks the sixth window on the side, the front windshield is a single pane of glass and it lacks the third front headlight.
  • Built on a self-supporting pressed steel platform with a central tube for added strength.
  • Car had great road handling and ride.



On loan from the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, TN